INDIA – Day 5 – Agra

 

First I want to mention that my husband Clint has posted all his photos from our trip to India to his website.  Please take a look !

Clint’s Pbase Photo Website

Moving on to Day 5 of our India Adventure…………………

So today, Friday, I woke up with a sore throat.  Why? I’m on holidays !!   I feel kind of crappy but thankfully I don’t feel worse than I do because I don’t want to miss anything.  One of the other guys isn’t feeling well either. Insert sad faces here…………

We were up early for our breakfast buffet and then on the bus and off to Mother Teresa’s Orphanage.

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Entrance Sign

Wow, this place is heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time.  I believe they said there were about 200 people living here and there are 10 nuns to look after them.  The people that live here are seniors, people with disabilities and children.  The people with disabilities will spend their whole life living here as there is nowhere else for them to go.   Usually the parents can’t look after them so they bring them here and here they stay.

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View of one of the hallways leading inside

There was one room with small children who were only here because they were sick and/or needed vaccines.  They will stay here until they get better and eventually they will go back to their parents, that made us happy.  They are only here to get the help they need that the parents cannot afford to give them.

It’s a well-kept property;  clean and welcoming and the people appear happy and well cared for.  They have a play area and different sitting areas, kitchens and lots of outdoor space.  It’s very bright and lots of room to roam around.  A lot of the seniors were sitting outside enjoying the beautiful day.

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Beautiful grounds and lots of monkeys all over the place
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Playground

We all left a monetary donation and You always wish you could do more.

I am not posting photos of the children, even though I took some.  I don’t feel it’s respectful to post their photos publicly.  Having said that, the orphanage has a Facebook page which posts all kinds of pictures, children included. I just don’t personally feel right about posting children’s photos, however if any friends or family would like to see the inside photos that Clint and I took, let me know and we’ll work something out.   Some of the rooms struck us as pretty sad and it was hard to stand and smile for the children

When we left, we all walked away feeling very fortunate in our own lives.  I respect people who give their lives to helping others in this way, they deserve special thanks and any monetary/emotional support they can get.

Leaving Mother Teresa’s orphanage, we made our way to the  Marble Art Palace.  We were shown how gems are put into marble and how the marble is prepared.  We were able to try our hand at this and it was fun for about 2 minutes and then not so fun !  I must have done okay as my instructor told me I could have a job !  haha

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I think this is where the guy told me I could have a job as I was doing well…….I found that funny.
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We were supposed to sit cross legged but I haven’t done that since I was 8 and it wasn’t happening today ! lol

The family that owns this store have been doing this for either 7 or 9 generations, it’s all a blur.  They also do repairs to the Taj Mahal, which is very prestigious for them.  We were told so much information, it’s hard to remember every detail, but I’m trying !

Not all of us took a turn but Jane, Joan, Anne and Paul did for sure.

He then took us to a room where all the items for purchase were displayed.  Beautiful items.  Clint and I did not buy anything but some of our group did purchase items.  Everything was lovely and well made.  I did really like some of the pieces there and they ship for free !

We went for lunch then to Chilly Chatkara restaurant.  It was pretty good and this is the place we discovered the huge beer bottles !   These bottles were close to 700 ml I believe.  Their most popular beer is Kingfisher beer and there are three types, regular, premium and strong.  All good but I prefer the strong.  We had a nice lunch there, lots of choices and the food was good.  To be honest, I can’t say we ever had any bad food the whole trip.

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Indian food in India is so different than in Canada, it’s so good

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After lunch as we were leaving the restaurant, we spotted a leather store across the street, so we braved the traffic and headed across the road.  You literally take your lives in your hands crossing any road.    I am too old to weave and dodge but I made it in one piece so not too shabby !

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The Leather store we went into
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Look at the donkey !!
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Well good thing the driver is wearing a helmet
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I do not know how these women stayed on the bikes sitting sidesaddle, I would have fallen off right out of the driveway

The store had wonderful purses, belts, bags and other items.  I do not remember the name of this store, it was not on our itinerary, we just went.  I thought they were a bit pricey and they would not haggle at all, which is unusual.  A lot of their stuff was made from camel.  Also unusual.  No one bought anything but it was great to peruse the shop and see what they had.  Poor Amit was trying to herd cats again, we were all over the place.  He has such patience with us lol

Here are a few photos as we drove around the city today.

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Nothing says Rush Hour like a cow in the middle of the road
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One of the town squares

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We were in the bus and yet the horse was passing us

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Those stairs scare me

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Then we were off to the Agra Fort.   This is a fantastic structure and quite big.  It was built in 1573 and is in terrific shape.  Considering they can’t fix a pothole where I live, I’m quite impressed at the workmanship from a few hundred years ago.  This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  This site is quite interesting to read about.

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Canada has a number of spots that are listed as a World Heritage Sites which surprised me, I don’t know why.  Maybe I thought all the places should be super old and Canada is a young country…………….but I digress…………..anyways, it’s an interesting read, click the link above to go to the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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I have said it before but I just cannot get over how beautiful all the buildings are and how long they have lasted

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Entering the Fort
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Tomb of John Russell Colvin
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Wonderful views from outside

I should mention, that women and men had to go into the Fort through separate lines.  There were a lot more men than women going through.  They have particular rules in this country about men and women that we are not used to but we go with the flow as it is their country, not ours, so we respect their culture and traditions.

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Gardens

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This is the first place we went to that the locals wanted photos with us.  We found that odd but Amit said a lot of people had not seen white people before and they were curious about us.

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Nice family photo!
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Paul

We really enjoyed this Fort and we walked around for quite a while learning about the history of this place.  Which you will have to read about for yourself as I can’t remember 3/4’s of what I was told lol.  So I put two different links to the Fort;  both are interesting and full of info.

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Looking down from the top of the Fort
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Lots of these little guys running around
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View of the Taj Mahal from Agra Fort

Back to the hotel.  I was feeling pretty lousy so I went to lie down at 430, I haven’t went to bed at 430 since, well actually I don’t believe I have EVER gone to bed at 430.  Clint and the others went to the lobby for a dice game and some drinks.  Bah Humbug.

I did get up at 730 and thought I should stay up for a bit or I wouldn’t sleep the night so I went downstairs to search out the others.  After I found them,  we all went into the restaurant for a bowl of Tomato Basil soup minus the basil.

We had a full day but we enjoyed it and now I’m off to bed again.  Long day tomorrow as we are getting up at O’Dark thirty to go to the Taj Mahal.

 

 

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